At 12:58 PM CT today, ESPN (@ESPNPR) released a statement announcing the suspension of Grantland, arguably the most popular sports blog in the USA. Grantland, which was started by Bill Simmons and acquired by ESPN, has been under heavy scrutiny ever since Simmons was “fired” from ESPN.

“Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland.  After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun.  We are grateful to those who made it so.  Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.  Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.

Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.”

I don’t feel comfortable bashing ESPN, because frankly I’m a young blogger trying to make it, but this is absolutely a catastrophe for sports journalism. I modeled this site off of Simmons’ wildly successful project, trying to emulate the site’s analytical style and personality as a Wisconsin-focused Grantland. Simmons is my favorite writer and one of my major influencers, and I feel bad for him knowing that his site will likely die out of his control.

Writers such as Jonah Keri, Zach Lowe, Bill Barnwell, Robert Mays, Jalen Rose, and so many more are some of the best sports writers out there. Lowe is arguably the best NBA writer in the country, and Rose is one of the best personalities in sports. All of these writers are all well-known within sports circles for their hard work, intelligence, and success. The fact that even these successful writers found out over Twitter about its suspension is terrible. And yes, I understand ESPN is going to utilize them as official ESPN writers, but we all know it will never be the same. Grantland created a new type of journalism, one that clearly affected me and so many others aspiring to get involved in sports in any way, shape, or form.

I wish the best to those that will continue to write for ESPN and those that will be laid off. Grantland was one of the reasons I decided to choose sports as a continued passion, and I hope people understand how much impact the site has had on people like me and all of us at SST.

Image: Grantland